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Alabama left tackle Evan Neal tops The Athletic’s annual ‘Freaks List’

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Alabama Crimson Tide left tackle Evan Neal is generating a lot of hype entering the college football season, and figures to be a high first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

While his pending move to a new position and his junior year still have to play out, Neal’s physical tools are truly mind-boggling and all but ensure his Day 1 draft status. To further cement his status as a marvel, The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman led his annual “Freaks List” with Neal at the top.

Citing some data Alabama director of sports science Matt Rhea posted, Feldman shared the following image and video to underscore just how explosive Neal is:

“At his size, he is the most impressive lower body power athlete we have ever seen,” Rhea said, per Feldman. “His jumping power is in the top [1%] we have ever measured. At 350 pounds, he routinely hits box jumps at 48 inches.”

In Sportsnaut’s latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft, an early run on quarterbacks and some defensive prodigies caused Neal to slide all the way down to 10th overall, but that feels like his absolute floor as a prospect.

Because Neal started at left guard as a true freshman and right tackle last year to help Alabama’s lethal offense to a national championship, it’s pretty safe to say his ongoing move to the left side will be rather seamless.

Neal is also continuing to learn in Tuscaloosa under an offensive line coach in Doug Marrone who’s a two-time NFL head coach and among the best position-specific assistants of his generation.

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The fact that Neal can mentally make the jump to three different positions in as many years, with such massive expectations and pressure on him, speaks to his football character. It’s clear he works at his craft, and wants to build on the immense athletic gifts he already possesses.

Feldman also reported that Neal hit a top running speed of 18.5 mph this summer, and has also bench pressed 475 pounds and squatted 650 pounds.

Yeah, that’d qualify as a “freak” athlete.

Offensive linemen don’t usually get a lot of love, but remember the name Evan Neal when you watch Alabama football this season. Chances are, he’s going to be pancaking defenders all over the field, and will be doing that on NFL Sundays before long, too.

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